BBC world affairs editor John Simpson has said that he expects to be sacked in “horrible circumstances”. The veteran journalist, who was speaking at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, also said he felt the future of the BBC was not bright. “I think the BBC we have known, for good or worse, is now in its last stages,” said Simpson, who has worked for the BBC for 42 years.
He admitted “hating” bosses, but called the BBC a “magnificent outfit”.
“Although the BBC is a difficult organisation sometimes to work for in peace and harmony… I’m very fond of it – sort of.”
The broadcaster, who has visited 120 countries, said the organisation’s model required money, and expressed his concern at the licence fee being “chopped away”.
“The way in which our entire broadcasting system has functioned for decades since 1955 is now under very serious threat.
“It will be very different indeed. It may be better, but I somehow doubt it,” said Simpson.
The 64-year-old said that his comments could get him “the boot”, and pledged to remain silent if he lost his job.
“If you take someone’s money, you owe them a certain debt of loyalty,” added the war correspondent.
Simpson touched upon Sir Terry Wogan’s recent criticisms of the BBC, saying he had said something “particularly savage”. “I thought somebody surely should have a word with him about that,” he added.
The BBC said in a statement: “John Simpson, like many people, is someone who cares deeply about the BBC and its future.
“He is a hugely respected broadcaster who has made, and will continue to make, a significant contribution to the BBC.”